Small Dietary Changes Help Diabetic Cut Down On Pricey Prescription Drug
A healthy diet can help reduce the risk for many health conditions and may also reduce corresponding healthcare costs. But what’s a healthy food for one person, may not be the best choice for another. Recently we heard from Leslie R., a retired diabetic who lives in Arizona. Leslie contacted us last year highly concerned that she was going into debt in order to purchase the Lantus insulin that she needed to control her blood sugar. Under her doctor’s guidance, Leslie uses a combination of high-cost Lantus, and lower-costing Novolin to control her blood sugar. Recently with the help of a nutritionist, she discovered the incredible power that small dietary changes can have on lowering blood glucose levels which in turn can help reduce the amount of insulin she needs. Leslie has been able to significantly reduce the amount of Lantus she needs by more than half, and her goal is to eliminate the need for it altogether. Here’s what Leslie told us:
Life sure is strange. This time last week I thought I was headed for the nursing home, feeling like I had been run over by a truck that backed up over me for good measure. Today I feel on top of the world. My morning fog is gone, I can slide under the steering wheel of my car instead of stuffing myself in, I can walk down the hall without huffing and puffing, and I was able to complete a short shopping trip today without falling exhausted into a chair when I got home!
I had a love affair with potatoes my whole life and I never knew how much damage a little mini bagel could cause. I was sure my new nutritionist would tell me that I could not have butter, or anything else — including cream cheese that I put on that mini bagel. Turns out I could have the everything I put on it, but not the mini-bagel! That was the culprit - along with all the other starches I was eating.
I thought I was eating healthy, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and a ton of low-fat stuff. WRONG! Within 24 hours after I cut out all starches, I started to see what a difference it made. I am losing, on average, a pound a day and sometimes more. My blood glucose numbers have dropped. Instead of using 100 units of Lantus like I was doing, I am down to 40 units per night - and seldom use Novolin at night. It’s like somebody waved a magic wand and said “HEAL!”
I still use Novolin. The Novolin is what is helping me reduce the Lantus dosage. The body makes insulin just like the Novolin, and both get the glucose out of the blood fast. Then it dissipates. Lantus, on the other hand, is long-lasting and hangs around, making a person retain fat! I was doing things backwards for a time trying to reduce and eventually get rid of the Novolin, but my nutritionist read the records that I keep and she stopped me cold. She explained that it is the Lantus I need to reduce or even eliminate first. And, as added incentive, Novolin costs less than a quarter of what Lantus costs!
I want the entire diabetic planet to know about this. Diabetics don't have to suffer, lose limbs or go bankrupt because they can’t afford their Lantus. What is working so well for me, may need some modification for others. — Leslie R., AZ.
Editor’s note: If you are struggling with the high cost of Lantus, ask your doctor about less expensive options, and about nutritional counseling. Many medical practices and hospitals have nurses on staff who specialize in nutrition counseling and may be able to help you design a dietary plan that’s right for you and your health conditions. Improving your diet might help you in the same way that it’s helping Leslie — by improving your health and reducing your reliance on expensive prescription drugs. Don’t let your love affair with potatoes and mini-bagels do you (or your budget) in.